16.03.2005 General News

Don't abuse children - President

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Kadjebi (V/R), March 16, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Tuesday reminded Ghanaians that any abuse against children constituted a violation of the Convention on the Right of Children (CRC) and other child focused instruments, which have been ratified.

"What many of you do not know is that violence and the abuse of children result into serious socio-economic, health as well as psychological consequences which are inimical to the development of the child", he said.

President Kufour made the remark in an address read for him by Mr Kofi Dzamesi, Volta Regional Minister when he feted 500 school children in the Kadjebi district at "The President's party for children, 2004" at Kadjebi in the Volta Region.

He renewed the government's commitment towards ensuring that the tenets enshrined in the CRC including the Gender and Children Policies evolved by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and the 10 years National Plan of Action for Children were implemented.

President Kufuor noted that these documents contained priority action plans, which fashion out strategies and programmes for an accelerated and effective response to the essential needs of children and "government intend to firmly adhere to the provisions inherent in these policy documents".

He observed, however, that aside these national and international protocols aimed at protecting the development of the child, their vulnerability still persisted and called for concerted effort by all towards reversing the trend.

President Kufuor stressed that the role and importance of the family unit, the community and its institutions such as churches and the mosque in protecting, caring and nurturing children could not be overemphasised, calling for an "absolute need for responsible parenting".

On HIV/AIDS menace, President Kufuor said the government, community, families and civil society have all contributed their quota towards the fight against the disease but the time has come for parents to ensure a change in attitude and behaviour so that "we do not leave our children as orphans".

He stressed the need for the incorporation of effective family life education within the school curricular and active programmes for out of school youths with government demonstrating stronger political commitment.

President Kufuor urged children to be studious and obedient and called on teachers to compliment the government's effort by working harder towards achieving the national aspiration in the education sector.

Mr Kofi Adjei Ntim, District Chief Executive called for adequate measures to ensure the total development and survival of children. "We can no longer leave the survival of our children to chance and nature", he stressed.

Mr Edwin Gamadeku, Acting Volta Regional Co-ordinator of the Ghana National Commission on Children (GNCC), called on the government to allocate a percentage of the District Assembly Common Fund for solving child related problems.

He observed that the media continued to publish reports of child abuse and discrimination constantly despite the protocols and the guarantees by the constitution. He called for commitment by all towards children's issues backed by the necessary resources to ensure that children were given prompt attention.

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